Year of climate disasters

02.12.2012

 

2012 risks becoming a record number of natural disasters in the world.


Extreme temperatures, droughts, floods and unprecedented loss of Arctic sea ice — all these will be remembered leaving in 2012, and this has caused concern climate scientists around the world: the weather is clearly something wrong.

— Climate change is happening before our eyes, and then this trend continues, — said the Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO, the World Meteorological Organization) Michel Jarraud (Michel Jarraud), presenting a report on the weather changes taking place in Qatar at the UN Conference on Climate Change .

According to the report of the WMO, the period from January to October 2012 among the top ten (the ninth) in the ranking of the warmest years in the history of meteorological observations, which have been conducted since 1850.

Global surface air temperature and ocean in the 10 months were 0.45 degrees Celsius (0.81 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the 1961-1990 and amounted to 14,2 C (57,56 F).

Experts say that extreme weather events have been observed in the current year in the world, but the main extremes primarily affected the northern hemisphere.

Heat wave hit the United States, which in March was recorded 15,000 temperature records, as well as southern Europe, Russia and most of the north-western Asia.

The drought affected many countries and, in particular, have suffered from a lack of rain Yunnan and Sichuan in China, home to 9,600 thousand people. But at the same time in southern China in April and May fell to a record for the last 32 years, the amount of precipitation.

In July — September flooded most of the regions of West Africa and the Sahel (tropical savanna in Africa) — Flood affected nearly three million people and killed at least 300 people.

 



In the Krasnodar region in the south-western part of Russia in July floods killed about 200 people and caused damage estimated at 630 million dollars.

The third consecutive year fixed severe storms in the Caribbean and the U.S. East Coast. A total of 10 months of 2012 was 19 tropical storms, 10 of which have evolved to the devastating hurricanes. The damage from a recent hurricane Sandy that struck New York and New Jersey, valued at more than $ 60 billion.

According to experts, the consequences of such storms today are much more serious than 100 years ago, as the sea level during this period rose by almost 20 cm, which leads to stronger waves, and hence the damage that they cause.

WMO also noted an alarming state of Arctic sea ice, an area which in September reached record lows — 18% less than the previous low, recorded in 2007 — only 3.4 million km2.

Arctic and Greenland ice sheets "melt" this year faster than meteorologists predicted five years ago. And, as the authors of the report, in the future, this rate will only increase.

WMO forecasts that all these alarming trends in climate will continue to get worse — they are the result of global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the level of which continues to grow.

In early December, the WMO plans to submit a detailed report on the state of the global climate for the period 2001-2010.

Meanwhile, the last of the Doha annual climate conference on the issue of combating global warming, the question was raised expanding aid to poor countries during the economic crisis. Rich states have already given them the promised in 2009, grants and loans to a total value of 30 billion U.S. dollars, but this year the term of the agreements expires and the Green Climate Fund, which will transfer to poor countries to $ 100 billion, has not yet begun to act.

Creating a framework for climate finance at the moment is one of the few tangible results of climate talks, which organizes the UN for the past twenty years. However, the main goal — to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which, according to the scientists, leading to a warming climate — to reach so far have failed. The only treaty limiting these emissions — the Kyoto Protocol — this year lapse. At the conference, the question of its extension.

But accede to the Second Agreement are ready when the Union and several other countries. United States refused to sign the Kyoto protocol because it did not affect China and India. There is hope for U.S. support in this time, as the new contract already includes China, ranking first in the world in carbon emissions. It is assumed that the new treaty will be ratified in 2015, and will come into force in 2020.

Developing countries, which have already identified types of programs and projects in need of funding, until he was getting. EU and other countries, according to Mina Rahman (Meena Raman) of the non-profit organization "The Third World Network» (Third World Network) «continue to feed their" breakfast ", but millions of people continue to suffer."

Meanwhile, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to grow. According to the report, which last week published the UN since 2000, her performance soared by 20%, mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels — coal and oil. According to the latest World Bank projects in this century, the average temperature could rise by more than 4 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels, thereby surpassing the bar at 2 ° C, which is set as a target the United Nations.

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